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Parking meters charges face giant hike

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Parking meters charges face giant hike

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In the year that he is running for the presidency of Panama, City Mayor, Jose Isabel Blandon has signed off on a deal in which motorists will have to pay up to 260% more to use parking meters.

The municipality has granted a concession for the administration and operation of the 1,296 parking meters already in place, and the creation of new ones, to the Panama Parking Consortium, for 15 years.

The contract is awaiting the endorsement of the Comptroller General.

Currently, the maximum rate for using meters is 50 cents an hour. less than a cent a minute. With the new rates, which will take effect from the second year of the contract, the cost will be higher than 3 cents a minute in some areas, and in other areas, it will range between 3 and 6 cents a minute.

The 15-year contract was awarded to the Panama Parking Consortium, formed by the Panamanian company SH3 Ingeniería, SA, and the US company Hectronic USA Corp. for $3.5 million

As charged by the Municipality in the tender, the collection of parking is the “most viable to persuade users of private transport to reduce the frequency of trips, which rationalizes the use of the road and the circulation of vehicles in urban areas.” Currently,  the parking meters are administered by the Municipality.

With the new concession contract,  from year two the city will be divided into a”blue zone” and “green zone”

In the “blue zone,” the rate will be higher than 3 cents a minute, plus Itbms. The longer you park, the higher the rate.

The concessionaire -Panamá Parking- promises to pay the local government royalties for only 5% of the amount of annual gross revenue generated. Reports La Prensa.

Among the functions that the concessionaire will have is to inform the local government whenever a user does not pay, goes beyond the established time to park or commits any fault so that the Municipality make the collection.

In the “blue zone”, two hours were set as the maximum time for a vehicle to remain parked, while for green, the maximum time allowed is four hours.

In addition, areas, where there were no parking meters, such as Punta Pacifica, Costa del Este or Casco Viejo, will join the club in stages.

In Casco Viejo,t a Unesco World Heritage site and payment system will be by cell phone (smart parking).



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OPINION: Another hit on city motorists

A gift to concessionaires
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The privatization of parking meters in the capital will be another blow to the economy of citizens who use their own transport to move in this city that lacks sufficient parking and whose public transport system is just beginning to modernize. As if the fact that they must pay considerable tolls for the use of corridors, now the Municipality of Panama is preparing to privatize a service that will increase drastically next year. It is ironic that the lack of planning of public officials to create spaces that serve to park vehicles now becomes a lucrative business, without considering the needs of taxpayers, whose taxes have built the streets and for whose use will now again have to pay through this business. But, as if that were not enough, the benefited companies will receive the existing equipment for their use as if they had paid for it. Perhaps this has been the business of the century after the State delivered services and state equipment to the companies Port Engineering And Consultants Corporation (PECC) and Ocean Pollution Control (OPC). It is absurd that the 50 cents that it currently costs for an hour of parking, is intended to go up to $2 dollars and more, without having to make more investment.- LA PRENSA, Jan. 6


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City Hall puts brakes on increased parking rates

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With an election, only four months away and a host of voters outraged at reports of a whopping increase in parking meter rates Panama City Hall, led by Jose Isobel Blandon, who is running for president has slammed on the brakes.

On Wednesday, January 9, it was decided to put a stop to the increase and pass the buck to the next administration.

Through their Twitter account, they said that “the ongoing process will be suspended to open a space for further consultations and allow the incoming administration to take a final decision on the matter”

According to the highest authority, this decision arises after the many concerns expressed by citizens regarding the concession contract for parking meters reports TVN News

The concession includes that the first year the maximum rate per hour is maintained at 50 cents plus  ITBMS.

But in the second year, the tariff regime will have a rate higher than 3 cents per minute in areas designated as blue zones. That is, to $1.80 per hour, with rates increasing for those who park longer



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If my memory is correct, the same thing happened in David.

Public opinion forced a halt to that city's parking meter initiative, too.  A private enterprise invested a bundle and got shafted.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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